Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The secret...

Priya arangan adiyars,

After a certain age in our life, we tend to learn certain things. We learn that each moment, each forthcoming tick of the clock needs to be planned and executed accordingly. We time our sleeps,  time our food and  time our talks. Even the occasional free time is planned free time. While doing so, we miss something vital in life. What is that? We miss life.

From the time of our birth, we come across so much in the artistic output of the Supreme artist. We are completely blown off by the unimaginable array of colours that bewitch our senses in this world. Every living form carries so much of colour, so beautifully painted, so deep yet so light. Symmetry in every living and non living entity pleasantly shocks us. We tend to think of the amount of rigorous plan that would have gone into the making of the entire universe. It just goes beyond our comprehension. We are to infer that the Supreme Soul would sit biting His lips and nails wondering about His creations.But do you know the secret behind the creation of the Supreme Being? Do you know why everything in His creation is so very lively and so very attractive? The Supreme Being has a trait which never gets diluted with the passage of time. It is called “Spontaneity”. This spontaneity in every activity makes His craft special. Spontaneity is the essence of being live. His decisions are made in that spur of the moment. Else will He not become a creating machine devoid of the touch of ‘now’? Will He not work like the computer coded in every limb? With fear, worry and anxiety filling our minds, the simple and true sign of life, “spontaneity” seems to be ever lost in us. Hence, our own creations don’t carry the magic that it ought to. Our lives have lost life. Look at children. What makes us like children other than their inherent innocence? It is our inability to predict their next action that makes them the centre of attraction. It is their “spontaneity” that sets them apart from our own lives and puts them in the Supreme Being’s league. They don’t plan what they have to speak, they don’t plan how to behave. Neither do they plan for unforeseen contingencies. They live in the present and only in the present.

The children of Acharyah are growing under the shade of Lord Ranganatha and Srirenganachiar. Their lives are jolly in the sense they learn with open minds. They enjoy everything that happens around them with no preconceived notions set in their minds. The school for the children closed on 14th of April with the Annual day function.

The experience of a teacher is shared here:

“It was early in the evening when the sun kissed the sky with its thinning orange rays. Srirangam was sultry beyond words. The entire temple town was like a furnace. Yet, the air around Acharyah was profuse with the fragrance oozing from the various scents applied on the children. The school looked like the creation of a freestyle drawing with the children dressed in various colours splashed across the entire corridor. As parents and visitors entered the front doors, the little chirpy children were ushered into a place behind the stage. The children were embellished in such a manner that even parents found it hard to recognize their wards! The Chief Guests, Sri Muthuswamy, Retired Professor, National College, Trichy, his wife Smt Revathy Muthuswamy, Director of Bharatha Natyalaya and Sri Manivannan, Deputy Director of All India Radio arrived at the school sharp on time and occupied their seats on the podium. Sri Periyanambi swamy and Sri Parasara Azhagiyasinga bhattar swamy, in the usual exhibition of their interest in the children, made entry into the hall which was dimly lit to give prominence to the activities on stage. With the prayer began the function.

“Wish of the fish” (video)
Little fishes in a sea wish to see the world outside the salty sea and goes up the sea. Children dressed up as fishes and joyed at the world outside the sea. A rhyme drama.
“Bhaktha Prahlaada” 
A devotional rhyme depicting the ferocious king, his pious son and the most ferocious Lord Narasimha. The little girl playing Narasimha started crying onstage due to the mask. The cry of the child made it the best Narasimha!
“Enge en kannan”
Dance – to the tune of Thiruppavai pasuram “orutthi maganai pirandhu”.
“Siragodindha paravai” (video)

Tamil Drama- Bird loses its wings. Seeks refuge under trees. None offer shade except the Banyan tree. And come winter, the leaves of all other trees fall off while the banyan tree stands with its pride intact. Theme – God helps those who help others. 
“Vaatavaranam rakshata”
(Preserving the environment)

Sanskrit drama- A Ceeper looks sad. Seeing this, a  child asks why? Creeper complaints the earth is not giving any food. child asks earth ‘Why not giving food?” Earth says “I don’t have any since no rain”. Rain says “Clouds don’t hold me anymore”. Cloud says “No trees on earth.” And when the child finally asks the trees, they say “You men simply cut us. How can we help the environment then?” The child admits the mistake and vows never to cut or allow others to cut trees. Theme –Men are the only convicts in environmental hazards.
“Prince & the Polestar”
English drama- Druvan charitra was enacted. The children playing Naarada and Druva spoke in mikes kept at opposite corners of the stage. And while delivering their dialogues, both of them forgot their lines! And both came to the centre of the stage and discussed each others lines and went back to deliver them correctly! It was amazing!
“Gujarath folk dance” (video)

Children dressed in bright colours and dresses made with glass, dance to Radha sametha Krishna song. 
“Planet dance”
One child was the sun and did dress like it. Each child dressed like each planet came on stage and ambulated the sun singing the characteristic feature of itself! Education, playfully.

Convocation of UKG children
The children moving out of the were beautifully honoured with the “Prapanna Bhaagai” ( A crown worn by great Srivaishnava scholars, especially yogis)

The exhibition of talent and co-ordination enthralled the audience. The ease of the children and lack of any inhibition was a treat to watch. Of course, as teachers, we had our own trouble in controlling the energy levels of the children. But that is a joy too. The Chief Guests enjoyed every moment of the event. Smt Revathy addressed the gathering saying she was a dance teacher herself and had never entertained a child below 5 years for any dance class. But here at Acharyah, she was awestruck to witness 2.5 year olds dance to tune with a beautiful rhythm. She also pointed out that the children seemed to understand far beyond their age. They could not only comprehend many things but could also express their reaction after comprehension. As she appreciated the children, two toddlers sitting in the front row rose and clapped thunderously acknowledging her for her appreciation of them! Sri Manivannan and Sri Periyanambi swamy wished for the perennial growth of Acharyah.

The founder acharya was eloquent in his address. He said “ A mother undergoes great pain when a child grows in the stomach. Physical pain and the pain of the mind. And at the time of delivery, the pain is untold and makes the mother vow never to deliver a child again. But the moment the mother sees the face of the newborn, all her pain vanishes like magic. Similar is the case with the children of Acharyah. The entire year, the mothers and teachers shouldered enormous hardship for the children. Today, the delivery has happened when the children exhibited their talents and qualities.”

Awards were handed over to children based on the traits exhibited by them throughout the year. Children were not awarded based on their marks or grades. Awards were only for virtues. Similarly teachers too were given awards based on the peculiar quality that enhanced their function as teachers. Not only that, the spouses of the teachers were also given awards since their contribution was definite, though indirect.

In addition, every person, like the auto driver of the children, the electrician, the maid were given awards based on their service. The children of Gurukulam too were awarded.

The entire programme ended late, but with a refreshing beginning, both for the children and the parents.

For a splash of colourful photos, click here:

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